Posture Self-Sabotage – The Modern Trend

Posture – A Modern Inconvenience

Pick up your phone and look at a message, email or just check the time. Look around a public space you’re in… see the other people checking their phones? How many inches forward do you think their neck is from being in line with the rest of their spine, what is the bilateral imbalance like with their shoulders? What’s your posture like?

Not quite the biggest revelation in the world I know, people have bad posture… What a shock. From the height of our pillows we sleep on to height of our computer screen, postural self-sabotage is everywhere.

But how the hell do we, do you, fix it!?

For that, we look at the other age bracket of the population around you. Not your peers, not those that are role models in life but those that are yet to be influenced. We look at how kids are able to move. I was sitting in a cafe today and noticed a girl no more than 4 years old standing by her father. She pointed to a cake in the cabinet, looked at her father and performed a perfect thoracic movement. The complementary relationship between her neck, T-spine and lumber in the way she twisted is what many people can achieve once again.

Reject the curve

“Cool story bro, get to the point”.

Good call: Over the last few years in the fitness industry I’ve noticed one trend that is growing faster than a bodybuilder in the offseason. Clients coming to me and saying “oh yeah I’ve always had bad posture, it’s just the way I am”… not wanting to fix it!? just accepting it. From fit adults in their early twenties to stressed out professionals nearly everyone needs better posture. To achieve this you need to lengthen what is tight and strengthen what is weak. Let us start with the lengthening.

Follow these steps every morning for two weeks. They don’t take long and you can do it while you’re morning coffee gets to drinking temperature. You will start to notice increased range of motion, less neck tension and become more aware of what your body is doing.

Mobility with Purpose

4 point tailbone tuck

Start on knees and hands, finding a spot where you can have a straight line from head to lower back. Use a mirror if you have one. From this point slowly tuck your tailbone under your body without raising your upper back, return to neutral spine position. Repeat 10 times.

Wall angel

Stand with your back to the wall and raise your hands up to said wall at shoulder height creating a ‘W’ shape with your hands at 90 degrees. Pressing your back against the wall so it’s flat and maintaining pressure on your heels, raise your hands into a ‘Y’ position, without lifting your back or heels. If you find this impossible then walk your feet further from the wall. Repeat 10 times.

Dance step

Stand straight and keep good posture. Step your right leg forward keep the heels of both feet planted on the ground. Turn your chest to the right keeping your head facing straight ahead. Step back and alternate sides. Repeat 10 times each side.

Conclusion

I’ve used these myself and with clients, one who has scoliosis, kyphosis and a considerable bilateral deficit. It helps to manage back pain while improving in the gym and improve quality of life outside it. From performing more pull ups by recruiting more muscle fibres to better sleep at night, increasing thoracic and scapular movement will be worth your time. Some of you will get near immediate results and some may take longer, keep in mind that you are always improving every day.

Start with the basics and ease yourself into the movement. Mobility is a long term goal and will require attention, treat it like any other project of value and you will reap the benefits.

Written by Ben Bonafede